Castine Capital Management LLC lessened its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 240,051 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 19,949 shares during the period. First Merchants Corporation makes up 4.3% of Castine Capital Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 6th biggest position. Castine Capital Management LLC owned approximately 0.49% of First Merchants Corporation worth $9,635,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Citadel Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $457,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 785,329 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $31,523,000 after purchasing an additional 24,000 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 48.3% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 74,075 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,973,000 after purchasing an additional 24,133 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 8.3% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 264,772 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $10,628,000 after purchasing an additional 8,623 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.45% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) traded up 1.07% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $41.41. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 80,056 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $39.17 and a 200 day moving average of $39.87. The firm has a market cap of $2.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.91 and a beta of 0.94. First Merchants Corporation has a 52-week low of $25.84 and a 52-week high of $43.48.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 9.63% and a net margin of 27.04%. The business had revenue of $81.53 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.75 million. Analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st were issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.76%. First Merchants Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 32.88%.

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In other First Merchants Corporation news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In the last quarter, insiders acquired 66 shares of company stock worth $2,617. Corporate insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

FRME has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub cut First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.00.

First Merchants Corporation Company Profile

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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